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Actress Thando Thabethe Spoke to Thabang Moleya, an experienced Director on how to be a director. Thabethe said Executive producing and directing is a new and exciting career path.

Moleya is a director for popular productions such as Gomora, The Herd, Jacobs Cross, Sokhulu and Partners.

Moleya went to the National School of the Arts (NSA). He says his mother bought him a camera when he was young and he would shoot film  everywhere the family went.

Moleya said he formed a group with some friends and shot short films on weekends. One of their films was featured at the Rosebank Cinema Nouveau.

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What Does A Director Do?

Moleya says a director is the Captain of the Script. He is responsible for bringing the script into life and thinking about all the parts of the elements of the script. The Director needs to dig deeper and unearth the unwritten parts of the script ( Script is the canvas and the Director is the painter).

The relationship between a Director and a Producer is important.

Moleya said he challenges his crew and his relationship with the Actor is very important. He has conversations with Actors before and on-set.

Happiness Is A Four Letter Word

Moleya says he grew up in a house where he was the only man. He says this partly assisted him to manage emotionally when he directed “Hapiness Is A Four Letter Word”.

Moleya said he had to go through ceratin experiences in his life in order for him to direct Hapiness is a four Letter Word. He says he did a lot of research and by the time he got to the set he had made up his mind about how the movie would be shot.

What Makes A Movie Successful

Moleya said relatability and honesty is what makes a movie successful. People cant relate to something that is too made up.

American Films

Moleya says he watches a lot of American films to see what is successful and what is working. He says he mixes this with some of these successful concepts into his own work.

Moleya is also translating work from African Authors and adapting these into books. Moleya says he has always wanted to be in America and bring African art to the world.

Commercial Directing

Moleya Says breaking into commercial directing was a long journey. He had hid first break 7 years ago when he was 29. He had a lot of drama series under his belt. After he won the SAFTAS, he decided to focus on commercials directing.

Moleya said it was very difficult to get in but once he got in he gained momentum quickly.

A drama series and a commercial set is very different. There were very few Africans on the set.

Black agencies are now on the rise and they are also having new clients coming to them. So transformation is starting to take place.

Inner Circle

Moleya said he works with a lot of other young black directors and producers who are represented by different production companies.

Ernest Nkosi, Kgale, Khitu, Lebs who owns Arcade, Lusanda, Malope, Zie Ntuli, Mzi Khumalo, Stefina….

How To Become A Director

– Surround Yourself with passionate and driven people
– Roll In a small pack of three to four people
– Create Content, start with YouTube and Instagram
– We live in a world where things don’t have to go to a broadcaster
– Have the right attitude
– Treat People with respect, Be kind, Arrive in Time



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